Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

waiting for it to never end summer blueberries
--Pippa Phillips (St. Louis, Missouri)

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First-day sale--
corn farm gate swings for
young and old
--Murasaki Sagano (Tokyo)

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Sunday ritual
three Hail Marys
to start the mower
--Jacob Blumner (Flint, Michigan)

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Alfalfa flowers
The accumulated dew
in the reaper’s sleeves
--Jaspe “Ajenjo” Martinez (Hidalgo, Mexico)

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blocking the trail
a chipmunk harangues
men with rifles
--Lev Hart (Calgary, Alberta)

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spring palette
dogwood and redbud trees
paint the hillsides
--J.L. Huffman (Wilkesboro, North Carolina)

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snow-mad cherry petals
ears softly boxed
by the gale
--Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

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tracks and scents
following the way
of the hunt
--Bona M. Santos (Los Angeles, California)

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at our picnic
old prisoner of war savors
watermelon seeds
--Charlotte Digregorio (Winnetka, Illinois)

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slumped against the fence
clutching her last seeds
frozen sunflower
--Dana Clark-Millar (Bend, Oregon)


Editor’s Choice
a haiku about peace
in every issue
--Elena Malec (Irvine, California)

The haikuist knows what this column needs. Sakurako Sakai won the “Best of Seijo” haiku contest for knowing what students need to soothe their stressful lives.

They relieve tension
Falling cherry blossoms and
My mother’s smile

Runner-up among the 132 contestants who studied haiku in English for one week at Seinan Jo Gakuin, Moe Makimoto from Kita-Kyushu wrote about everyone’s favorite seasonal treat.

Trickling down
Dripping ice cream
Sounds of summer

Special commendations were awarded by the dean of the English department, Malcolm Swanson, for two haiku about sunflowers. Hibiki Inoue wrote an uplifting verse, whereas Natalia Sen’s was mired deep in the soil of her native Ukraine.

summer is coming
sunflowers are looking up
giving me energy

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Warm summer evenings
Sunflowers turning away
Heavy dirty soul

Lilia Racheva awoke early in Rousse, Bulgaria: Prayer bird songs at dawn.

Sweeney was reminded of someone in their grave in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Bluebonnets flower each spring as a visual marker of life in Texas. On May 24, Melanie Vance mourned the 21 shooting victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

His bluebells
came up
without him

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spring is blue
in the Lone Star state
bluebonnets unfold

C.X. Turner paused to watch delicate blooms move as one thick swathe in an ancient woodland in Birmingham, England.

starting to turn
towards the light
bluebell wood

Racheva felt nobody cared.

in a tender dance,
unnoticed by the world

Tony Williams experienced “the longest day” in Glasgow, Scotland, adding that because “the grass was as long as it gets, and the house had been vacated a long time back,” he felt compelled to take this extra-long look.

longest day--
grass flowering
around an empty house

Kiyoshi Fukuzawa saved commemorative postage stamps marking the end to the U.S. rule of Okinawa. A Canadian boon companion hauntingly cried out to Archie Carlos in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Ryukyu stamps
changed to Okinawan kitte...
fifty years passed

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an old loon stamp
from a lake up north
a friend’s wail

Chris Langer recorded the exchange of playful sounds by the Bosque river in Stephenville, Texas.

the ducks banter
by the river

Racheva praised natural art tracked in clay along the banks of the Danube: graffiti, feathers of birds along the river.

Jennifer Tan visited Gore Park near her home in Hamilton, Ontario. She’s looking forward to the Canadian National Exhibition next month. Carl Brennan heard a harsh scream in New York.

expect rush of days
time is a round Ferris wheel
a scream of pleasure

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Harsh music
held in my young cat’s mouth
a frantic jay

John Hamley heard a high-pitched whine then smacked himself in Marmora, Ontario, before writing this one-liner to explain what he was doing: Watching butterflies black flies biting.

Fukuzawa visited a tea plantation outside Tokyo. Rosemarie Schuldes was startled in Mattsee, Austria. A velvety-smooth moment caressed Isabella Kramer in Nienhagen, Germany.

Women in black
still picking tea leaves
long day

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wafting rose petals
at the summerhouse
bullet holes

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summer solstice—
between dropping rose petals
a nightingale’s song

Lev Hart wrote a “now you see it, now you don’t” themed haiku in Calgary, Alberta. Michal Nizgorski is content with what he has in Gdynia, Poland. Satoru Kanematsu commented on a spartan way of life.

in the instant i
turn to pick up my sandal
the cockroach is gone

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needs nothing

* * *

Stark summer--
no more McDonald’s
in Russia

Pat Davis took note of the food chain in Deerfield, New Hampshire. Fukuzawa stored away a bag of birdseed until next winter. Aaron Ozment shared a park bench in Kagoshima.

at their prey...
the impatience of crows

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turn to hunt spring worms--
My dried seeds remain

* * *

Lonely winter ends
stop feeding pigeons old man
when the masks come off

Teiichi Suzuki opened an intriguing package from Whitehorse, Yukon.

Rainbow postage stamp--
thanks letter from Canada
with poetic works

Carlos shared innuendo from St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Ashoka Weerakkody shared a memory from better times in Colombo, Sri Lanka, before the curfews and electric power cuts.

from the nunnery
new seed packets

* * *

cumin seed
mystic flavour of childhood
in a candy pebble

Marcie Wessels got stuck during rush hour in San Diego, California.

traffic cones…
the scent of fresh asphalt
lingers in the heat

On vacation, Hamley turned to chat with a passenger.

in the back seat of a taxi
do I look Cuban?

Lee Nash was hoping to rest on the commute home from Poitou-Charentes, France. Keith Evetts was hoping to share a bottle of wine at home in Thames Ditton, U.K.

rush hour
a cello
takes my seat

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in the drawer
last time she saw it
my old corkscrew

Christopher Calvin asked for the impossible in Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia.

will you stay
just... a little bit longer?
summer solstice

Kanematsu sat down at sundown. Blumner lay down to reflect upon his day.

Cruel war
beyond sunset glow
in Ukraine

* * *

summer solstice
my nightlight
the setting sun


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear on July 15 and 29. You are invited to send haiku about war and peace on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to (

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David McMurray has been writing the Asahi Haikuist Network column since April 1995, first for the Asahi Evening News. He is on the editorial board of the Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, columnist for the Haiku International Association, and is editor of Teaching Assistance, a column in The Language Teacher of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT).

McMurray is professor of intercultural studies at The International University of Kagoshima where he lectures on international haiku. At the Graduate School he supervises students who research haiku. He is a correspondent school teacher of Haiku in English for the Asahi Culture Center in Tokyo.

McMurray judges haiku contests organized by The International University of Kagoshima, Ito En Oi Ocha, Asahi Culture Center, Matsuyama City, Polish Haiku Association, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seinan Jo Gakuin University, and Only One Tree.

McMurray’s award-winning books include: “Teaching and Learning Haiku in English” (2022); “Only One Tree Haiku, Music & Metaphor” (2015); “Canada Project Collected Essays & Poems” Vols. 1-8 (2013); and “Haiku in English as a Japanese Language” (2003).